The Wardrobe Detox
Don’t you hate the time of year between Christmas and spring? January, I kind of accept that its going to be rainy and grey. February I can keep myself going as I get hopeful with the lighter mornings and evenings. By March, I’m done with winter and want to stop wearing black and grey, and dealing with wet, muddy shoes.
So to make myself feel a little better I tend to do a but if a de-clutter in late February and March. Mentally it gets me in a good place but it also has its practical uses. When I have a solid wardrobe plan fir the season ahead I know exactly what pieces I want when the new SS collections start to drop! March is a fantastic time to shop for trans-seasonal pieces for the UK. Leave it until the weather warms up a bit and all you are left with is floaty dresses, denim shorts and swimwear. Lets face it, our wardrobes need more practical pieces to face the British summer!
The Wardrobe Declutter
In order to achieve any goal in your life it’s important to have a plan. As part of any plan worth its salt, it’s vital you get really honest with yourself about where you are right now, and how you got here.
You need to confront your wardrobe head on to reveal what’s going right (and wrong) with your day to day style. Most of us tend to get quickly in to style ruts, where we almost create a sort of go-to uniform we wear most days. Mine often involve trainers these days!
The truth is we’re driven by comfort, so at some point the wardrobe morphs from style-driven to comfort-driven. You wake up one morning and think ‘oh my goodness. Style has left the building. I’m in full on mum comfort mode. Help!’
As someone who spent years doing wardrobe detoxes for mums, and still find myself doing the odd one to help a mother out; I always make time to ensure I inject the style back into my comfort driven wardrobe.
I don’t have time for dry-cleaning, ironing and all that jazz anymore. Mama has about 10 minutes top to create an outfit. But I find some planning when in the purchasing stages goes a long way to creating stylish outfits that look (and feel) effortless before the school run.
If you think you don’t have the time to address your wardrobe, take a look at my step by step expert advice on how to detox your wardrobe. Give it a try and see how a few hours well-spent organising your wardrobe will shave at least five minutes off getting dressed every morning, which over the rest of year could save you nearly twenty-two hours! Wow.
Why will it help to have an organised wardrobe?
If you have visited the January sales you will recall the piles of clothes all over the floor, tops falling off hangers, not being able to find the size or colour dress you want and basically experiencing utter chaos! Now picture your wardrobe. Any similarities there? Things falling off hangers, no organisation, can’t find what you want? I thought so!
You Start Thinking in ‘Whole Outfits’ and ‘Looks’ as opposed just buying stuff!
All shops employ visual merchandisers to ensure that the garments look visually appealing and are in an order where the customer can find what they are looking for. They also use merchandisers to ensure that the displays encourage the customer to see how to use different elements of the collections in putting together a whole outfit within the range (and therefore spend more!)
You Save on Time and Reduce the Stress of the Morning Dash
Just imagine an organised wardrobe where you could find everything with ease; each item was on a separate hanger and nothing fell off when you sifted through your clothes; your accessories were de-tangled and neatly organised; and putting together your outfit for the day ahead was a joy and not the stressful experience it usually is!
Well this is what I have done for many clients and I don’t mind making the grand statement that in many ways this can transform their life for the better in terms of confidence when it comes to their appearance and style. Not to mention that it saves them time and money!
To do this, you really need to set aside some time, of which I continually hear women use the excuse “I haven’t got time to sort my wardrobe out”. If I can organise and detox a wardrobe that I have never even seen before in approximately two hours, you can certainly do it in the same time.
The aim of the wardrobe detox is that by the end, everything in there must be something you can wear today. Here’s how to get cracking…
1. If the Shoe Fits…
A “doesn’t fit” pile is one I address in nearly every wardrobe. It amazes me every time just how many clothes women hoard that don’t fit them any more – both too small and too large!
Either way, keeping clothes in your day to day wardrobe that no longer fit (or never did fit you) is psychologically damaging in terms of self-esteem and image confidence. For example if you have lost weight and still have the clothes you once used to fit into, you are subconsciously sending your brain a very powerful message each day that you will be needing your “fat trousers” again.
Oppositely I have met a lot of women who buy a dress in a size too small as a motivation (or wishful thinking) that they will be able to fit into it in a couple of months. A classic fashion crime committed in the January sales when people see a “bargain” and buy a size smaller because their size isn’t available thinking it will motivate them to get in shape. Not much of a bargain if you never get to wear it!
Looking at clothes hanging in your wardrobe that are too small is sending your brain the message that your body isn’t good enough to fit into that particular item, and I think women give themselves enough of a hard time each day about their image without this added insult.
I am not saying that you have to ditch these items unless you are mentally ready to say goodbye, but at the very least wrap them in tissue, pop them in a storage box, suitcase or a decompressed pack, pop in some cedar-wood or moth balls and store them wherever you have room. If it doesn’t fit today, it won’t fit tomorrow, so why is it in your everyday wardrobe cluttering up space and confusing you? Get in out again next year and it fits – winning!
With this knowledge you are empowering yourself to change your behaviour and work towards further acceptance of yourself, and a wardrobe that you love to wear.
2. For All Seasons
Only have in your wardrobe what you can wear today!
Anything that is not in season should not be in your wardrobe. There is no point (especially in the UK) having summer garments such as kaftans, flip flops and floaty fabrics cluttering up your wardrobe in January.
I have achieved a trans-seasonal wardrobe which is mainly wearable all year round where I just bring out winter coats and boots when it gets cold, and then in March / April I will pack my winter clothes away and bring out my spring / summer stuff.
As I live in the UK I have learned to keep a summer holiday wardrobe box separate, as it is very unlikely that I ever wear high summer clothes when I’m in this country, and again I find my staple wardrobe can even be adapted to take on holiday so I only have a few special holiday pieces.
The bonus of doing this is that when the clothes are revived after a season stored away, it feels like you have new clothes again without spending a penny, as you’ve not spent the last six months staring at them.
You need to make a pile of clothes that need some tender love and care. By this I mean any trousers that need re-hemming, any shirts with buttons missing or any stained garments. Assess the pile and evaluate which clothes you still want and then resolve to not put them back in the wardrobe until they have been renewed in some way.
I often went to a client’s wardrobe for the first time and she would pull out a blouse that she used to love wearing. When I asked her why she stopped wearing it, she couldn’t answer that question. The reality was she had completely forgotten she had it or made the assumption that it didn’t fit her any longer. This happened because one day she came to wear that blouse and the button was hanging off, so she threw on something else and left for work. The next week, she came to wear the blouse again, only to find she still hadn’t fixed the button, and the cycle continued for weeks and months. In the end, when getting dressed in the morning, her eyes didn’t even consciously acknowledge that blouse anymore as her brain had categorised it as irrelevant. It didn’t apply to her getting ready as she could never wear it.
When she tried the blouse on again during our consultation it fitted perfectly and she’d falls back in love with it. All along it was simply a case of sewing that button back on. So my advice with these garments is, just sort it! You will find that by just following these steps it will automatically renew your desire to look good, practically help you to achieve a more groomed image and keep you more organised.
Here is a summary of clothing piles that you may end up making during your detox and actions that you need to take with them: –
4. Clothing Piles to Make and What to Do with Them!
- Doesn’t fit – Store away, sell on eBay or donate to charity
- Don’t like anymore – donate to charity, eBay or have a clothes swap party!
- Not sure if it suits me or if I like it – get a second opinion from an honest 3rd party
- Worn out and needs replacing – Bin or use as dusters!
- Needs adjusting or fixing – take to a tailor or renew yourself
- Not weather appropriate – Store away for next season
So, hopefully that won’t have taken you too long and now you’re left with an ACCURATE representation of what you ACTUALLY have in terms of choices to wear each and every day, right now!
Next on the list to come … shopping for a wardrobe update!